Living With Vampires
Pairing: Damon/Elena, minor canon Stefan/Elena
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Disclaimer: The characters still belong to L.J. Smith and the CW, I'm just borrowing them for fun.
Setting: This starts after 1x16 'There Goes The Neighborhood' and then I guess it will go AU.
Overall Summary: Elena is moving in with the Salvatore brothers at the boarding house. Random glimpses at her life with two vampires, one of them hell-bent on seducing her. The really bad part: it's not her boyfriend doing the seducing but Damon. And even worse: it's working!
Summary for this part: Elena is moving in with the Salvatores but finding the right room may prove more difficult than she'd thought possible. And it may come at a high prize.
Author's note: This started out as a funny one-shot. It still is, but now I have several ideas for more swimming around in my head and I'll try to make it a series. But for now it's a one-shot. Oh, and sorry if a part of this somehow reads like it belongs into an 'interior decorating magazine'. I got carried away a bit, interior design has always been a hobby of mine.
The door wasn't locked, it never was, and so Elena entered the Salvatore boarding house without trouble. She didn't bother calling out for Stefan, she knew he wasn't home right now. He'd told her this morning over the phone that he had some errands to run but would be back this afternoon.
The heavy carpet swallowed her steps as Elena made her way further into the house.
"What's this, Elena? Are you going on a vacation?"
The sudden voice from directly behind shouldn't have startled Elena, she should by now have gotten used to Damon appearing out of nowhere with his super-human speed. Still, for a second Elena's heart had skipped a beat hearing him so close. When she finally managed to get it back under control she turned around and came face to face with Damon's trademark smirk.
"Vacation?" Elena frowned, not sure what he meant.
Damon briefly cocked his head towards the door, his eyes never leaving hers though, and Elena suddenly understood. She threw a glance at her suitcase in the doorway and then turned back to Damon.
"Oh, Stefan didn't tell you?" She took a step back and pulled a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
The smirk on Damon's face never faltered. "Tell me what? That you two lovebirds finally tied the knots of mariage and you're moving in?"
Elena couldn't help but smile at Damon's unique way of trying to get a rise out of her. He'd pronounced the word marriage in the French way, over-emphasizing the last syllable, and from his lips it sounded like an annoyance or a curse.
Which to him it probably was.
"Yes," Elena smirked back and crossed her arms in front of her, ready for whatever taunting insult Damon would counter.
But the single word from her had apparently managed to stun even Damon. The smug smile fell from his face and for a second there Elena thought she saw something like true surprise flicker through his clear blue eyes.
"What? That's a joke, right?"
"No," Elena grinned back triumphantly. "Okay," she shrugged then, "the marriage thing was but the rest… yep, I'm moving in."
Damon's self-assured smirk was back in place again when he leaned close. "No, you're not."
"Yes, I am!"
Elena didn't budge, didn't pull back to expand the distance between their faces. She simply stared into Damon's eyes and after what seemed to her like a lifetime Damon eventually tore his eyes away. He brushed past her and languidly sauntered over to where she'd left the heavy suitcase in the doorway.
For one silly second Elena thought he would pick it up and carry it inside for her but Damon stopped just short of it and eyed the travel case as if it were a dangerous animal about to bite him.
Elena shook her head and suited up.
"What's the matter, Damon?" Elena reached around and lifted the suitcase off the ground. "Afraid something might jump out of it?"
Damon didn't bother with an answer but simply watched her move the obviously heavy thing to the foot of the staircase. Then, with a resigning roll of eyes, he went after her and took the suitcase from Elena's hands.
Elena followed him upstairs, a small smile playing around her lips. It seemed that chivalry wasn't as dead as she'd thought. Some basic manners obviously were too deeply ingrained for even 145 years of badass vampirism to have erased them.
Elena had to admit that she was surprised. But not by seeing the remains of Damon's gentlemanly upbringing, no… she was surprised by the fact that she wasn't surprised at all. Deep down she'd always known that there had to be some good in him still. Even if it was just 'carrying her suitcase for her'… something good had always remained.
Elena reached the first floor and noticed Damon was waiting for her at the foot of the small stairway that led up to Stefan's room.
"I don't suppose I have to ask where exactly you want me to put this?" Damon's foot was hovering above the first step when Elena's reply let him freeze in mid-air.
"Wait! Actually…" Elena let her gaze wander around the long hallway with at least seven closed doors staring back at her. "I hadn't really thought… ugh, I mean, Stefan and I haven't really talked this through yet."
Damon set the suitcase down and slowly walked over to her. His eyes gleamed joyfully in the low light. "So my dear brother asks you to move in and you just say yes, not even sure if you want to share a room with him?" He threw her a wicked grin. "Huh, do I smell trouble in paradise already?"
"No, it's nothing like that," Elena replied, determined to set things straight. "And for the record, moving in here was my idea, not Stefan's. In fact, it took something to convince him first."
Now Damon really looked surprised. He lifted an eyebrow and silently waited for Elena to go on.
"Stefan told me about the attack, Damon. Last night, on you two here. He told me about the vampires that escaped the tomb and that now are out there, free to roam town like they please, thanks to you!"
"Hey," Damon shrugged carelessly. "It wasn't me who forgot to properly close the door. If the witches hadn't screwed up their part…"
"Yes, and if you hadn't been so hell-bent on opening the tomb in the first place, and, may I add, all for nothing since your Katherine wasn't even in there…"
Elena noticed Damon's eyes light up dangerously at mentioning Katherine and she let out a resigned sigh. "Look, Damon. We could go on blaming each other for this mess forever but, what's done is done and… well, we have to figure out a way to deal with it, together."
Damon's eyes narrowed suspiciously. "And how exactly do you think moving in here is gonna help us any?"
Elena's arms crossed in front of her body again and she waited a second, sure that Damon would figure it out himself. When he didn't she explained with another sigh: "Damon, I'm human. And I'm moving in here. Making this house my home, at least for now, where I live and sleep. Vampires will need an invitation…" she broke off when she saw realization cross his face. Hah, finally he got it.
"You're moving in here to protect us from the big bad vampires trying to kill us?" Damon's voice was full of amusement though inwardly he was stunned by the sheer genius of her plan. Not that he'd ever admit that, mind you!
But, damn, it was brilliant in its simplicity.
The vampires that had escaped the tomb had never been invited here. And although the house had, for several years in the past, been kind of a public place, being a boarding house and all that, nowadays it served its purpose as a family residence only. And by the way, as long as Zach had lived here it had worked. So why shouldn't it with Elena?
It should, plain and simple. Why hadn't he thought of that before he'd killed Zach?
Determined not to show Elena that he was actually impressed Damon threw her his most devilish smirk. "Aww, that is so sweet of you, Elena! Sweet and… completely unnecessary." His smirk quickly turned into a menacing expression. "I'm quite capable of handling a bunch of half-starved vampires myself, you know?"
"Says the one who just got his eyes poked out by one of them!" Elena shot back unimpressed.
"Stefan told you?"
"He did," Elena nodded once. "Too bad you heal so quickly. I would have loved to see you fumbling around blind for a while."
"Ha ha," Damon smirked back. "Well, what can I say? One of many useful perks the proper diet brings with. Gotta have some advantage not crawling by on animal blood."
"One up among many, many downs I'd say," Elena replied with a scrunched up face. "And it didn't stop that vampire bitch from getting the upper hand over you, so… what's the point?"
Damon didn't like being reminded of his rather humiliating run-in with Pearl and so he quickly changed the subject. "So, Elena. If you don't wanna share with Stefan, and I'm not blaming you since, you know, he's a terrible roommate and famous for hogging the covers…"
Damon winked at her and turned around to open Elena's view to the many doors going off from the halls. "Which room would please the heroine of the day to choose as her quarters?"
With a soft laugh at Damon's antics Elena eyed the doors before she took a few hesitant steps towards the first one on the left.
"Ugh, no," Damon appeared next to her and stopped her hand on the handle. "Not this one."
"Why not?" Elena wanted to know.
"It was Zach's, so…" Damon shrugged. Elena stepped back quickly. The room had probably not been entered since… She frowned up to Damon.
"Why did you kill him?"
"He tried to kill me," Damon's voice was as dispassionate and indifferent as if he were talking about the weather. "Or, well… he helped Stefan. He grew vervain in the basement. Without telling me. And I don't like to be kept in the dark."
"But he was family," Elena walked up to the next door and looked back over her shoulder. "Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Family's overrated. But speaking of…" Damon sauntered up to her. "What does your aunt think about you moving in with your boyfriend and his ridiculously hot eligible bachelor brother?"
The last part had been delivered complete with air-quotes and Elena had to smile against her will. As much as it pained her to admit it, Damon could be fun and charming when he wanted to be. But she wouldn't let herself forget what he was, what he'd done… turning her birth-mother into a vampire… she was determined to stay angry at him for quite a while. Even if she'd come to understand that she couldn't really blame Damon when it had been Isobel's decision to leave her, long before Damon had ever entered the picture.
Honestly, deep down, Elena knew that it wasn't Damon she was angry with. It was Isobel.
Still, it wouldn't do to let Damon know that, yet. So Elena threw him a fierce glance and shrugged. "I told Jenna Stefan was sick and needed me to take care of him since you're obviously not capable of doing it properly. It wasn't all that hard to convince her of that."
"Really?" Damon smirked back, not offended at all. "And here I'd thought I'd rather impressed her with my cooking skills, which are fantastic by the way."
"True," Elena admitted freely. "Which is why I expect you to cook a delicious dinner tonight."
"Dinner, huh?" Damon closed the distance between them and whispered into Elena's ear: "Should I cool the champagne and light the candles for us as well?"
Elena didn't acknowledge the shiver that ran down her spine at hearing his seductive voice. "Why not? And set the table for three because," she pulled her head back to look into Damon's eyes "tonight you and me and Stefan are gonna celebrate our new living-arrangements."
"Which we still haven't figured out yet," Damon wasn't gonna show his disappointment to her. He moved in between the small space that separated Elena from the door and blocked her entering. "This room's not gonna be yours either."
"Because it's a storeroom." Damon quickly opened the door to reveal a dim room full of boxes and sheet-covered furniture. He closed the door again and watched Elena walk towards the opposite door. When she cast a questioning glance back he grinned.
"Ugh-ugh," Damon shook his head. "That's a bathroom."
"What about the next?"
Elena let out a sigh. "And the next?"
"It doesn't have heat," Damon smirked. "And no curtains on the windows."
"That one there?" She was slowly getting fed up with this. "Or what about the one at the very end?"
"No windows at all."
"What?" Elena shot him a frown and then, sure that Damon was messing with her, rushed down the halls towards the last door on the left. Damon appeared out of thin air in front of the door and she smacked against his chest.
"Damon, nobody would built a room without windows! And besides, we're at the gable side of the house and I've seen the balcony from outside. It has to belong to this room!" She tried to squeeze past him. "Let me see it!"
"No," Damon didn't give up his spot right in front of the heavy wooden door but stood there, both arms crossed over his chest.
"Fine," Elena huffed eventually and stepped back. "I get it. You don't want me here at all because you can't admit that you might actually need my help for once. Whatever. But even if you don't want my help, I'm not going anywhere, Damon. I'm still gonna stay to make sure Stefan won't get hurt again. So, if you won't let me have a room down here I guess I'll just have to move in with Stefan after all."
Elena turned on her heels and started marching off to where her suitcase stood at the foot of the stairs.
Damon sighed and rolled his eyes. "Elena, wait!" he called after her but when she simply walked on he used his vampire-speed to block her path once again.
"You are truly the most annoying and irritating girl I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. And yes," he lowered his head to capture Elena's eyes, "I admit that your idea of moving in here is brilliant and I could bite myself for not thinking of it myself. So, I admit that I'd appreciate your help. You can move in. And since I'm the only legal adult here and I have to see to it that you and Stefan behave yourselves, you're not gonna share a room with him. So if you absolutely insist on taking that room over there… well, go to it. I'm not gonna stop you."
Despite the mocking and slightly exasperated tone in Damon's voice Elena could see the obvious genuineness of his statement in his eyes. He really meant that.
Without a word in reply Elena turned back and quickly made her way up to the heavy wooden door. She was really curious now as to what she'd find behind the door that Damon had so obviously not wanted her to enter.
The handle turned easily and Elena stepped over the threshold into…
"Wow," she gasped and her mouth hung open in stunned awe. It was the most spacious bedroom she'd ever seen, and certainly the most beautiful one as well.
The first half of it was nearly rectangular, perhaps three yards long and wide, and paneled in dark wood (but happy dark, not gloomy dark like Stefan's room).
But then the room opened up further and it seemed to simply be bathed in light. Twice as big as the first part and curved into an enormous oriel it didn't hold any dark paneled wood at all. Its friendly cream-colored walls reached barely up to Elena's hips before window after window filled the space to the high white ceiling.
Sunshine flooded in from all sides and danced over the night-blue bed-covers on the gigantic bed that occupied the left side of the room. Sparkling dots fluttered to and fro, making the silky material glimmer and shine.
Elena had to avert her face when the bright spots began to hurt her eyes. All this light was nearly too much. She turned around again and started to examine other parts of the room.
The floor was covered by the most plush carpet Elena had ever walked on, even with her shoes on it felt like she was walking on clouds; fluffy, dark brown clouds that begged you to lie down and just enjoy the feeling.
Two doors on the left separated the 'radiant bed-part' from the first half of the room. One obviously led to a walk-in closet and the other one, half-closed, let Elena get a glimpse at midnight-blue tiles and a white porcelain sink. The en-suit bathroom, obviously.
Elena took a deep calming breath, trying not to squeal in delight at the sight of all the beauty around her. This was truly the most magnificent room she'd ever been in.
She took another breath and tried to decipher the smell. The air… there was something in it…
The anterior held several bookcases and sideboards, all in the same polished dark wood, but it didn't give off the stuffed and musty scent of Stefan's overflowing bookshelves. In fact this entire room lacked the vibes of century-old memories, of the looming immortality and sheer superiority of… time. Time that managed to weigh you down and make you realize your own insignificance when confronted with its everlasting eternity… that's what Elena had felt every time she'd entered Stefan's room.
This room now… it was telling a whole different story.
Elena felt that the walls, the furniture, even the carpet on the floor, nothing here was trying to suffocate her in gloomy memories and centuries of misery. This room made her realize what decades of living, what immortality, could really mean.
Independence, freedom… endless possibilities, that's what this room consisted of. Those feelings were nearly tangible in every part of the room. They breezed through it like a gust of the freshest air Elena had ever breathed.
Opening her eyes again (and when exactly had she closed them?) Elena made her way past the bed over to the middle of the big window side. She enjoyed the spectacular view and let her hair flutter in the soft breeze that came through the open window on her right.
"Do you like it?"
Elena had completely forgotten about Damon being there with her and so she nearly got a heart attack when his low voice had suddenly purred right into her ear.
"Like?" Elena swirled around and her face nearly glowed. "Damon, this is… I love it! The windows, the view, the furniture… all of it. It's amazing, really!"
"I'm glad you approve. Although I'm not really surprised that you share my great sense of decoration style. I knew we'd have much more in common than you and my boring brother ever had. We're the perfect match, you and I, Elena." Damon stood inches away from her, his body nearly touching hers, his gaze intense and mesmerizing.
"Damon," Elena had trouble not getting lost in his eyes. She lowered her eyes, but that was even worse because now she was suddenly staring at his perfect mouth, his full and luscious lips, and she unconsciously bit her lower lip to prevent herself from closing the distance between them.
If she were to kiss him now… Damon wouldn't do anything to stop her, Elena knew that. In fact he'd do anything to prove to her that he was indeed as dashing, gorgeous and irresistible as he thought.
Elena closed her eyes and tried desperately to hold onto one last straw of self-control. But then, suddenly, the words he'd said finally pierced her brain and her eyes shot open again.
"Wait, what did you mean, your sense of style? Don't tell me…"
"This is my room, of course," Damon smirked. "Who did you think it belonged to?"
"I, ugh… I didn't," Elena stuttered and let her eyes sweep around the room once again. She realized at once that it was true. This room obviously wasn't a spare like the first one he'd shown her. This room possessed a certain air of… inhabitance.
A male inhabitance.
And, Elena had to admit, now that she knew what to look for she could see evidence of Damon living here in every corner. All around the room certain things sprang to her eyes, general things like the lack of personal items, pictures or simply the small amount of books. But also more specific details… the enormous high-tech flat-screen for example, a small bottle of aftershave on the sideboard, or a discarded black belt thrown over the back of a chair… it were small things, indifferent things, and yet they all connected in Elena's head and formed pieces of a puzzle labeled Damon.
Elena let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd held. Her eyes once again found Damon's and she couldn't help but return his smile. It wasn't one of his trademark smirks but a true, genuine smile.
"Welcome to your new home," Damon's voice pulled her out of her stunned state at last.
"What? No, I…" Elena shook her head. This was Damon's room. She couldn't take his room, she couldn't! Even if it was the most beautiful room in the entire world and Elena's whole being itched to be here, to sink onto the bed and let the feeling of freedom wash away all her worries.
No, she couldn't! Elena squared her shoulders and pulled a loose strand of hair out of her face. "Damon, this is your room. I can't take your room."
"Sure you can," he shrugged nonchalantly. "It's just a room, Elena. It doesn't mean anything to me."
Elena couldn't quite believe that. This… all this magnificence, it had to mean something, even to him. She let her eyes roam around again and almost missed Damon's next words.
"Besides, it's big enough for us. It shouldn't be a problem sharing it."
Elena's eyes practically popped out of their sockets. "What? Share?"
Damon merely smirked.
"I'm not gonna share a room with you!"
"Why not?" Damon took a step closer and hovered over her. "You said you loved it. And I happen to love it, too."
"You said it didn't mean anything to you," Elena groused. "You also said that you don't want me to share a room with Stefan, who is my boyfriend. But it's okay for us to share a room? Why's that?"
"If I have to explain it to you," Damon wiggled his eyebrows suggestively, "then you're obviously not as clever as I thought, Elena."
"Ugh, I'm going," Elena brushed past him, suddenly upset. The room with its beauty had clearly addled her brain and for a second there she'd forgotten that Damon was… Damon.
She reached out for the door and for the second time today ran smack-faced into a broad chest when Damon once again blocked her path.
"Relax, you can have it," Damon sighed, an almost bored expression on his face. It was no fun teasing Elena when she wasn't firing back.
"Really." Damon was pleased to see the genuine smile brighten up her face. His mouth twisted upwards and he added: "Under one condition."
Elena took on a defensive pose and waited for him to go on.
"You said it yourself, this is an amazing room. And I've never had to give it up for anyone before, ever. So I guess it's just fair for you give me something in return. Something that really means something to you."
"But you said the room didn't mean…"
"I lied, okay?" Damon cut Elena off with a roll of eyes. "Of course it means something. Come on, have you seen my TV? It's worth at least…"
Now it was Elena's turn to roll her eyes. "Okay, I get it. So what do you want in return? I'm not saying I agree with your terms, I can still move in with Stefan and you wouldn't be able to do anything about it. But, let's just say I'll think about agreeing. Hypothetically speaking, what would you ask of me in return?"
"An hour of your time," Damon answered.
"An hour?" Elena frowned. "I thought you meant something really valuable."
"And time isn't valuable for you? I'd figured that since you're mortal, unlike me, a human who's aging as we speak, well, that for you time would be something valuable. But if it's not… "
"Okay," Elena cut him off. Damon's smirk grew and he leaned closer to her face. "Okay? Does that mean you agree?"
"Just one hour, right?"
"Yes," Damon nodded. "One hour you spend with me however I want, whenever I want."
He noticed Elena seriously was considering it and he had to suppress a laugh. She had to like the room very much if she'd really think about…
"Okay, I agree."
"Great," Damon clapped his hands and grinned. "Well, then… I guess you make yourself at home now while I go shopping." He opened the door and stepped out into the halls.
"Shopping?" Elena poked her head through the door and stared after him.
"Sure," Damon turned around and walked backwards. "After all, I need supplies for our big event!"
"Supplies? What supplies?" Elena gulped forcefully. Oh damn, what the hell had she gotten herself into? "Damon, what supplies?"
"That, Elena," Damon suddenly startled her with materializing right in front of her again. "You'll find out tonight! Ttfn!" And then he was gone as quickly as he'd come.
"Damn vampire-speed," Elena growled and looked down to the ground. Her suitcase stood on the threshold. Damon must have brought it over. Elena heaved it inside with a small smile. "Giving me his room, bringing me my suitcase… he's really charming! Why can't he be like this all the time?"
She was about to close the door when Damon's faint voice coming from downstairs suddenly reached her ears: "Because that would make me as boring as my brother is and you'd tire of me just as quickly as you will of him! And we don't want that, do we?"
"Damn vampire-hearing!" Elena shouted and closed the door with a smash.
"I heard that, too!" Damon's smug reply was the last thing Elena heard before she plopped down onto the king-size bed.
Oh God, what had she been thinking, moving in with two vampires? She'd never have privacy ever again! And what was it that Damon planned for tonight? What would Stefan have to say to all of this? Her sleeping in Damon's room? Their agreement? What would Stefan say?
Elena buried her face in the silk covers and groaned.
And why did this bed have to smell so good? How the hell was she supposed to stop thinking about Damon when she was surrounded by his delicious scent?
'Oh God, this living-with-vampires-thing? It's quickly gonna turn into my own personal hell', Elena just knew it!
Probably, possibly... if you want me to. Do you? And if so, what funny, hilarious or, better yet, hot and sexy situations can you imagine coming up? Huh, I guess even something as mundane as washing dishes or dusting would be hot and sexy if Damon was doing it, right? So, what do you want me to write for you? Let me know, please. I'm on a roll.